The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket Comprising the details of a mutiny and atrocious butchery on board the American brig Grampus, on her way to the South Seas, in the month of June, 1827.

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 15

high, and full six long, but very narrow. Two
large empty oil-casks lay on the top of it, and above these, again, a
vast quantity of straw matting, piled up as high as the floor of the
cabin. In every other direction around was wedged as closely as
possible, even up to the ceiling, a complete chaos of almost every
species of ship-furniture, together with a heterogeneous medley of
crates, hampers, barrels, and bales, so that it seemed a matter no less
than miraculous that we had discovered any passage at all to the box. I
afterward found that Augustus had purposely arranged the stowage in
this hold with a view to affording me a thorough concealment, having
had only one assistant in the labour, a man not going out in the brig.

My companion now showed me that one of the ends of the box could be
removed at pleasure. He slipped it aside and displayed the interior, at
which I was excessively amused. A mattress from one of the cabin berths
covered the whole of its bottom, and it contained almost every article
of mere comfort which could be crowded into so small a space, allowing
me, at the same time, sufficient room for my accommodation, either in a
sitting position or lying at full length. Among other things, there
were some books, pen, ink, and paper, three blankets, a large jug full
of water, a keg of sea-biscuit, three or four immense Bologna sausages,
an enormous ham, a cold leg of roast mutton, and half a dozen bottles
of cordials and liqueurs. I proceeded immediately to take possession of
my little apartment, and this with feelings of higher satisfaction, I
am sure, than any monarch ever experienced upon entering a new palace.
Augustus now pointed out to me the method of fastening the open end of
the box, and then, holding the taper close to the deck, showed me a
piece of dark whipcord lying along it. This, he said, extended from my
hiding-place throughout all the necessary windings among the lumber, to
a nail which was driven into the deck of the hold, immediately beneath
the trapdoor leading into his stateroom. By means of this cord I should
be enabled readily to trace my way out without his guidance, provided
any unlooked-for accident should render such a step necessary. He now
took his departure, leaving with me the lantern, together with a
copious supply of tapers and phosphorus, and promising to pay me a
visit as often as he could contrive to do so without observation. This
was on the seventeenth

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